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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Date:
July 16
Type of Feast:
Optional Memorial
Prayers:
Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Litany of Intercession to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
History:
According to the traditions of the Carmelite order, on July 16, 1251, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock,
a Carmelite. During the vision, she revealed to him the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, popularly known as the
"Brown Scapular." A century and a quarter later, the Carmelite order began to celebrate on this date the Feast of Our Lady
of Mount Carmel.
The Carmelites had long claimed that their order extended back to ancient times-indeed, that it was founded on Mount
Carmel in Palestine by the prophets Elijah and Elisha. While others disputed this idea, Pope Honorius III, in approving
the order in 1226, seemed to accept its antiquity. The celebration of the feast became wrapped up with this controversy,
and, in 1609, after Robert Cardinal Bellarmine examined the origins of the feast, it was declared the patronal feast of the
Carmelite order.
From then on, the celebration of the feast began to spread, with various popes approving the celebration in southern Italy,
then Spain and her colonies, then Austria, Portugal and her colonies, and finally in the Papal States, before Benedict XIII
placed the feast on the universal calendar of the Latin Church in 1726. It has since been adopted by some Eastern Rite
Catholics as well.
The feast celebrates the devotion that the Blessed Virgin Mary has to those who are devoted to her, and who signal that
devotion by wearing the Brown Scapular. According to tradition, those who wear the scapular faithfully and remain
devoted to the Blessed Virgin until death will be granted the grace of final perseverance and be delivered from Purgatory
early.

Prophet Elijah - Boldest of the Prophets


A Man Who Did Not Die
Elijah stood up boldly for God in a time when idolatry had swept his land. In fact, his name means "My God is Yah(weh)."
The false god he opposed was Baal, the favorite deity of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Israel. To please Jezebel, Ahab had altars
erected to Baal, and the queen murdered God's prophets.
Elijah appeared before King Ahab to announce God's curse: "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be
neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word." (1 Kings 17:1, NIV)
Then Elijah fled to the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan River, where ravens brought him bread and meat. When the brook
dried up, God sent Elijah to live with a widow in Zarephath. God performed another miracle there, blessing the woman's oil
and flour so it did not run out. Unexpectedly, the widow's son died. Elijah stretched himself on the boy's body three times, and
God restored the child's life.
Confident of the power of God, Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the false god Asherah to a
showdown on Mount Carmel. The idolaters sacrificed a bull and cried out to Baal from morning until nightfall, even slashing
their skin until blood flowed, but nothing happened. Elijah then rebuilt the altar of the Lord, sacrificing a bull there.

He put the burnt offering on it, along with wood. He had a servant douse the sacrifice and wood with four jars of water, three
times, until all was thoroughly soaked. Elijah called on the Lord, and God's fire fell from heaven, consuming the offering, the
wood, the altar, the water, and even the dust around it.
The people fell on their faces, shouting, "The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God." (1 Kings 18:39, NIV) Elijah ordered the
people to slay the 850 false prophets.
Elijah prayed, and rain fell on Israel. Jezebel was furious at the loss of her prophets, however, and swore to kill him. Afraid,
Elijah ran to the wilderness, sat under a broom tree, and in his despair, asked God to take his life. Instead, the prophet slept,
and an angel brought him food. Strengthened, Elijah went 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb, where God appeared to him
in a whisper.
God ordered Elijah to anoint his successor, Elisha, whom he found plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. Elisha killed the animals for a
sacrifice and followed his master. Elijah went on to prophesy the deaths of Ahab, King Ahaziah, and Jezebel.
Like Enoch, Elijah did not die. God sent chariots and horses of fire and took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, while Elisha
stood watching.
Accomplishments of Prophet Elijah:
Under God's guidance, Elijah struck a heavy blow against the evil of false gods. He was an instrument for miracles against
Israel's idolaters.
Prophet Elijah's Strengths:
Elijah had incredible faith in God. He loyally carried out the Lord's instructions and struck boldly in the face of enormous
opposition.
Prophet Elijah's Weaknesses:
After a stunning victory on Mount Carmel, Elijah fell into depression. The Lord was patient with him, however, letting him rest
and regain his strength for future service.
Life Lessons:
Despite the miracles God performed through him, Elijah was only human, like us. God can use you in amazing ways as well, if
you surrender yourself to his will.
Hometown:
Tishbe in Gilead.
Referenced in the Bible:
Elijah's story is found in 1 Kings 17:1 - 2 Kings 2:11. Other references include 2 Chronicles 21:12-15; Malachi
4:5,6; Matthew 11:14, 16:14, 17:3-13, 27:47-49; Luke 1:17, 4:25,26; John1:19-25; Romans 11:2-4; James 5:17,18. Occupation:
Prophet